The death toll from Covid-19 in Bangladesh rose to 11,393 with 88 more fatalities in 24 hours until Thursday morning as the country finds it hard to stop the deadly virus.
Health authorities also detected 2,341 new cases during the period as the pandemic keeps sweeping through the country.
The infection rate dropped to 9.39 percent from Wednesday’s 10.48 percent while the mortality rate rose to 1.51 percent from 1.50 percent.
The infection rate in the country came down below 10 percent after over a month as it reported 7.68 pc infection rate on March 17 and it rose to 10.45 the following day. Since then, the infection rate has been showing an upward.
The country recorded 97 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, 78 on Tuesday and 77 on Wednesday, showing a downtrend. It witnessed over 100 deaths from April 16-19 and on April 25.
With the latest figure, 756,955 cases have been detected so far in the country, the Directorate General of Health Services said in a handout.
The number of recoveries now stands at 677,101, including 47822 new cases. This means, 89.45 percent of the patients have recovered till now.
Bangladesh has so far tested 5,448,658 samples, including 24, 982 in the past 24 hours.
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on March 8 last year and the first death on the 18th of that month.
April, the fatal month
In the last 29 days, Bangladesh has seen 2,347 Coronavirus-related deaths and 21,712 new cases, making it the most fatal month since the outbreak began last year.
The virus claimed 568 lives in January this year, 281 in February and 638 in March.
Dhaka division remains the worst-hit region, registering most of the deaths – 6,658 or 58.44 percent.
Forty-eight of the 88 deaths reported today are from Dhaka division and 22 from Chattogram division.
The disturbing surge in Covid cases prompted the government to go for a lockdown from early April. Having failed to achieve the intended result, it imposed a strict lockdown from April 11 and extended it to April 28.
On Wednesday, the government issued a circular extending the lockdown till May 5, as there is no improvement in the Covid-19 situation.
However, shops and shopping malls will remain open from 10am to 8pm during the extended period, he said.
Bangladesh kicked off its vaccination drive on February 7 with Oxford-AstraZeneca doses it purchased from the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd.
Bangladesh signed an agreement with Serum for 30 million doses. But a record number of cases in India has made the delivery of the doses uncertain.
The administering of the first dose remained suspended from Monday.
DGHS DG Prof ABM Khurshid Alam assured that Bangladesh will get 2.1 million doses of vaccine by the first week of May.
Vaccine production in Bangladesh
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved in principle a proposal for producing Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines in Bangladesh.
The government on Thursday approved the emergency use of Sinopharm, a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine. It approved the emergency use of Sputnik V Vaccine of Russia a day earlier.
“We’ll get 5 lakh doses of the Chinese vaccine as a gift within 7-10 days. Then we’ll start distribution. Then the government will start buying those on G2G basis,” Mahbubur Rahman, Director General of DGDA told reporters on Thursday.
Incepta Pharmaceuticals, Popular Pharma and Health Care Pharma have the capacity of producing vaccines, and the Chinese vaccine could be produced locally, Mahbubur Rahman said.
On Thursday, Dr Shahida Aktar, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division noted that the government will purchase vaccine technology from Russian and China through direct procurement method (DPM)
Bangladesh shuts border with India
On April 26, Bangladesh closed its border with India for any kind of movement except that of cargoes for the next 14 days as the coronavirus situation in the neighbouring country goes out of control.